Monday 11 December 2017

Varadkar criticises colleagues'Budget talk

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

TRANSPORT Minister Leo Varadkar has criticised his cabinet colleagues for speculating about the forthcoming Budget.

It is the latest outspoken contribution from a minister who has recently complained about the "stroke politics" of Health Minister James Reilly and called for compulsory redundancies in the next Croke Park deal.

He blamed Budget speculation by ministers for knocking consumer confidence, which he said had been at its highest level in five years last month.

"Within a month that had fallen by 10 points, probably due to Ministers and others talking about child benefit cuts, property taxes and all sorts of things," Mr Varadkar said.

He was speaking in the Dail after being asked about the possibility of cuts to tax relief on private pensions in the Budget.

"I will be my better self and not engage in that sort of speculation on what is in the Budget," he said.

Last month, consumer confidence fell sharply as fears about the economy, the Budget and personal finances weighed on consumers.

Irish Independent

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